Macular Degeneration Exams

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Age Related Macular Degeneration Exams

How does Age Related Macular Degermation (ARMD) affect your vision?

 

ARMD is a progressive eye disease that affects the central part of our vision.  It is the leading cause of vision loss among Americans 65 years and older.   Because ARMD affects the central part of vision, patients may experience difficulties with activities of daily living like reading, driving, watching TV and recognizing faces.  

There are two types of ARMD, Wet ARMD and Dry ARMD.  In general, Dry ARMD is much more common and less likely to cause significant vision problems, but if advanced enough can cause vision loss.  Wet ARMD can cause very abrupt vision loss that may be permanent.  Currently, there is treatment for Wet ARMD to prevent further damage. 

 

What are the risk factors for developing ARMD?

Controllable Risk Factors

  • Smoking

  • Obesity

  • High cholesterol and blood pressure

  • Long term exposure to the sun without eye protection

Non-controllable Risk Factors

  • Increasing age​

  • Having a family history

  • Light colored irises

  • Females (because they live longer on average)

  • Nearsighted patients

  • High levels of C-reactive protein in the blood (a marker of inflammation in the body)

What can I do to limit my risk of developing or worsening ARMD?

If you are currently a smoker, quit.  Quitting smoking will not only greatly reduce your risk or developing AMRD or worsening your ARMD, but it will also prolong your life.  Optimize your vascular risk factors by losing weight and maintaining healthy blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Wear sunglasses when outside to limit exposure to UV light. Eat lots of green leafy vegetables (unless you are Coumadin/Warfairin, then discuss this with your primary care doctor first).  

 

If you have an intermediate level of ARMD in one eye then use the AREDS 2 formula of vitamins, which has been proven to slow down the progression of ARMD in patients with at least an intermediate level of ARMD in one eye. 

Why is getting ARMD exams important?

ARMD is a progressive eye disease that requires regular monitoring.   Without regular monitoring ARMD may cause permanent vision problems.  At our office, we have the necessary technology and skill to guide patients with this disease to help maintain the best vision possible. 

What are the symptoms of ARMD?

  • No symptoms

  • Straight lines may no longer look straight, but rather wavy

  • Decreased central vision

  • Needing more and more light to do activities

 

How often should I have my eye examined with ARMD?

 

The frequency of exams depends on what level of ARMD is present.  Some patients only need a yearly visit, and some patients require more frequent exams and testing.  

 

Schedule an appointment today for a complete evaluation.